Classics and English BA


Fact file - 2019 entry

BA Jt Hons Classics and English
UCAS code
3 years full-time (available part-time)
A level offer
Required subjects
A in English literature or language (or combined) at A level
IB score
34-32; 6 in English at Higher Level
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


This course combines the study of the literature, society, art and culture of classical Greece and Rome with the opportunity to study English language, literature and drama and performance from old English to the present day.
Read full overview

This course combines the study of the literature, society, art and culture of classical Greece and Rome with the opportunity to study English language, literature and drama and performance from old English to the present day.

No previous knowledge of ancient languages is required and the study of Greek or Latin is not required, but may be undertaken as part of this course.

Year one 

For classics, you will study two core modules introducing the history and culture of Greece and Rome and an in-depth module on one topic (eg. Alexander). Beginners' language or Interpreting Ancient Literature  are among the optional modules.

In English you have a choice of three core modules from the areas of English language and applied linguistics, English literature 1500 to the present, medieval languages and literatures, and drama and performance.

Year two 

In classics, you combine a wide range of optional modules exploring ancient literature, art and history, with an extended source study, to prepare you for third year dissertation work.

In English, you will choose from a wide range of options to develop deeper understanding of the issues and critical approaches across at least two areas of the discipline, depending on what areas of literature, language and drama and performance most interest you.

Final year

In classics, you will either develop and pursue your own interests through a dissertation or take a Special Subject which involves in-depth study in seminars on a staff-member’s topic of special expertise. 

In English, you choose from a wide range of modules specialising in key areas of the subject. You have the same wide range of final year options in English as single honours students.

More information 

See also the Department of Classics and Arcaheology.

Entry requirements

A levels: AAB-ABB, including A in English literature or language (or combined) at A level; plus four GCSEs at 7 (A) or above, including English

English language requirements 

IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications

We recognize that applicants follow a variety of pathways into higher education, and accordingly we might accept applicants with alternative qualifications (besides A-levels and the International Baccalaureate). These can include:

  • Access to HE Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • BTEC Extended Diploma

Students with queries about the applicability of their qualification are encouraged to contact us.

For more information please see the  alternative qualifications page.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  


The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.

Typical year one modules

Compulsory English options
You must choose three out of the four following options:

Language and Context

This module considers the main forms and functions of English vocabulary, grammar and discourse and explores how they are used in real social and cultural contexts. You will look at how language is used for different purposes and how people use language to reveal and conceal social realities as well other topics surrounding language and context. For this module you will have a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar per week.

Beginnings of English

You’ll be introduced to the language, literature and culture of medieval England and study Old and Middle English texts. In this module you will familiarise yourself with the knowledge needed for reading and understanding medieval texts. In addition you will be introduced to the basics of grammar and spelling conventions. For this module you will have two one-hour lectures and one one-hour seminar per week.

Studying Literature

This module will  introduce some of the core skills necessary for literary studies through focus on specific poetry and prose texts. You will address topics including: close reading, constructing an argument and handling critical material. For this module you will have a combination of lectures and seminars.

Drama, Theatre, Performance

This module, taught through a combination of practical workshops, seminars, and lectures, considers key concepts in the study of dramatic texts, theatre history and performance. The module frames these concepts, taking into consideration questions about who performs, where, to whom, why and how, through explorations of key moments in the Western theatrical tradition.


Compulsory Classics modules

Studying the Greek World

This wide-ranging module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Greek World from 1600BC-31BC, from the Bronze Age to a point when Greece had become part of the Roman Empire; no prior knowledge of the Greek world is required. You will consider major chapters of Greece’s history, such as the Mycenean Period, the rise of the city-state in the Archaic period, and Alexander the Great. You will also explore developments in Greek literary and artistic culture and as consider aspects of the reception of ancient Greece in modern western culture. For this module you will have one two-hour lecture each week over the course of 10 weeks. 

Studying the Roman World

This module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Roman world from the beginnings of the city of Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. You will examine many important aspects of Rome’s history such as the Roman Republic, the rise of the empire, the establishment of the Principate, and the fall of Rome. At the same time you will explore developments in Roman literary and artistic culture, and consider aspects of the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture. In addition, you will examine the relationship of the Roman world to the Greek world, to complement the Autumn semester module ‘Studying the Greek World'. For this module you will have one two-hour lecture each week. 

Interpreting Ancient Literature

Ancient literature from Homer to late antiquity is studied in this module by focusing on a representative theme. Recent themes have been 'Performance and Persuasian' and 'Love and War'. Issues treated have included: the relationship of literature and society, oral culture, performance, genre, gender, religion and literature, and artistry in historical writing. For this module you will have eight one-hour seminars over the year and two one-hour lectures each week. 

Beginner's Greek: 1

In this module you will be provided with an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of classical Greek; no previous knowledge is assumed. Emphasis is placed on acquiring the ability to read Greek, rather than on writing or speaking it. You will have four one-hour classes every week, enabling you to keep improving steadily over the course of 10 weeks.

Typical year two modules



Extended Source Study

This module is compulsory unless you are taking Latin or Greek. It is designed to develop your skills of research, analysis and written presentation as preparation for a third-year dissertation. You will write a 5,000 word essay chosen from a range of topics, each focusing on a single piece of ancient source material. You will be provided with a topic for investigation, starter bibliography and tips on how to approach the question. The questions will suggest a range of possible approaches, from evaluation of historical source material to exploration of literary effects, relationships with other material, discussion of context or reception. For this module you will have a mixture of lectures and four two-hour seminars over a period of 10 weeks.

Intermediate Latin 2

This module is for students in their fourth semester of Latin. You will read a text such as Cicero Pro Archia or Virgil Aeneid 2 in some depth, and practise close reading of Latin literature, as well as continuing to revise and consolidate Latin grammar. 

Ancient Faces

What can a face tell us? This module explores Greek and Roman portrait sculptures, how and why they were made, where they stood, and what they stood for. Topics covered include: the features necessary to call a depiction of a face a portrait; the relationship of face and body in the shaping of a portrait; the emergence of the portrait in Greek art, portraits of Greek generals and statesmen Hellenistic female portraiture, and how to analyse marble portraits by means of 3D technology. For this module you will have one one-hour lecture per week and five one-hour seminars over the semester.

Independent Second-Year Project

This module is your opportunity to expand your knowledge of the Classical world in an area which interests you, and to experiment with a method of communicating that knowledge which is different from the usual assessment practices of essay-writing, exam-writing and seminar -presentation. You might undertake research that leads to the construction of a database, or the reconstruction of a Greco-Roman artefact. You can select a communication method tailored to a future career, e.g. by constructing a teaching plan and testing it in a school, by writing in a journalistic style, or by designing a museum exhibit. You might choose to experiment with making a video or a website. A supporting portfolio documenting your research forms part of the assessment. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, seminars, computing training and workshops.


Greek Tragedy: Orestes on Stage 

This 10-credit semester-long module focuses on Greek Tragedy in translation, through the examination of one myth – that of the house of Orestes in Aeschylus’ Oresteia, Sophocles’ Electra, Euripides’ Electra and Orestes. These texts contain a number of themes that are typical of tragedy as a whole: inherited guilt, ritual pollution, revenge, kin-killing and the pursuit of suppliants. Furthermore, the course will set tragedy within its broader context, looking at two major areas. The first is the literary context of tragedy; how tragedy was informed by other poetic genres and, in particular, the development of the mythic tradition. Secondly, the module will consider the broader political, social and religious context of Greek tragedy. You will have three hours of lectures and a one-hour seminar every fortnight. 


English options

You must choose three modules in English covering at least two of the following areas:

Literature: 1500 to the present

Each of the modules offered will provide a comprehensive introduction to the changes in the genres of prose, poetry and drama across the period studied, placing the works encountered in the context of key aesthetic, social and political/historical contexts.

English Language and Applied Linguistics

Building on the study of English language undertaken in year one, your second year language modules provide the exciting opportunity for you to explore aspects of language use in the mind, in society and in literature.

Medieval languages and literatures

You can choose to pursue one or more of the medieval areas introduced in year one, or you can opt to study a new but related area. In all cases you will develop your understanding of language change and variety, registers, styles, modes and genres, as they appear in medieval texts, and become more expert in reading with reference to wider medieval cultures.

Drama and Performance

Year two modules provide the opportunity to develop approaches from the first year by studying 20th and 21st-century theatre; by exploring key critical approaches to drama in theory and practice, and by focusing on a key period in the development of our nation’s theatre.

For a sample of typical modules from each area please see our single honours BA English listing.

Typical final year modules


Latin Texts: 5

This module examines, in the original Latin, a range of texts representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying special attention to matters of language and style. Literary appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of the original Latin. The position of the texts in the development of the genre will be explored, as well as their relationship with their social context. A recent example is to focus on a selection of Martial’s epigrams and Statius Silvae 2, studying the poems as part of life in Flavian Rome. Themes include: the emperor, patronage, daily life, gender and sexuality, genre, satire, the city of Rome 

Jason and the Argonauts

A cross-medium, cross-genre, cross-cultural perspective on one important myth: Jason and Medea, the quest for the golden fleece, the journey of the first ship. The myth that pre-dates Homer brings together the famous fathers of Homeric heroes (Peleus, Telamon), in a gathering of the marvellous, the semi-divine and the ultra-heroic. For this module the central text will be the Argonautica of Apollonius but a wide range of texts, images and films, Greek, Roman and beyond will be part of the module. Themes include: the Greeks and the other; civilisation and colonisation; Jason and Medea; gender and sexuality; the nature of heroism; monsters, marvels and magic. For this 20-credit semester-long module, you will have two one-hour lectures each week and one two-hour seminar each fortnight. 


Imperial Biography

This module considers the genre of literature known as Imperial Biography: that is, biographies written about the Roman Emperors. In particular, it will focus on Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars and the anonymous text known as the Historia Augusta. The module will not only look at the limitations of the genre as a whole in relation to its structure and sources, but it will also look at major themes within the lives and key case studies of specific examples - ranging from discussion of physiognomy, to gender and sexuality, omens and portents, religion and philosophy, administration and empire-building, birth and death scenes and so on. For this 10-credit module you will have three hours of lectures and one one-hour seminar each fortnight across a ten-week semester.  

Virgil and the Epic Tradition

This module involves a detailed study of Virgil's Latin epic poem, the Aeneid, in English translation, and focuses on its interactions with the epic genre. The Aeneid was immediately characterised as a 'great' poem: how does Virgil react against his predecessors to carve out his own literary territory? How is the Aeneid received and re-used by poets and other artists down the ages? Themes will include: career and poetics, Homer and Apollonius, reception in later epic (later Roman, Renaissance Latin, Milton), politics and identity, games and reality, gender and genre, and vision and spectacle. For this 20-credit module you will have six hours of lectures and one two-hour seminar each fortnight across a ten-week semester.

Classics Dissertation

The dissertation is compulsory unless you are studying ancient Greek or Latin, in which case it is optional. It is your opportunity to carry out an in-depth investigation of a chosen area, to be agreed with a supervisor in advance. You will use the skills that your degree has equipped you with thus far to plan, research and complete a 10,000-word essay. There will be a mix of contact to achieve this, including workshops, lectures and one-to-one tutorials.  


English options

The final year is when all the different strands of your teaching and learning experience as an undergraduate culminate in the opportunity to demonstrate and apply all the different kinds of skills you have acquired in researching a topic, extended analysis of specialist themes and areas, and in independent study. 

You will have the opportunity to study a range of authors, genres, linguistic approaches, and textual forms and contexts, in both national and international contexts, thinking about English in the broadest possible terms. You will also have the opportunity to specialise in areas for which you have developed particular aptitude and passion during your undergraduate career.

A typical list of options available can be found on our single honours BA English listing.



A course in English fosters many vital skills in communication and professional practice. Researching and presenting your work involves a high degree of creativity, and you will also learn how to be careful and precise in carrying out analysis of a range of subjects.

You will learn to plan your work, and develop the qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation that are essential to any form of graduate employment. We will help you develop your ability to research and process a large amount of information quickly, and to present the results of your research in an articulate and effective way.

A degree in English from The University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual, who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training. Our applicants are among the best in the country and as a result, employers expect the best from our graduates.

Graduate career destinations

Graduates in English, as with many arts graduates, find themselves faced with many options when it comes to selecting a career. No matter what your initial choice may be, you will find that the skills and knowledge that you have developed during your degree will have equipped you for the demanding and often highly changeable nature of the 21st-century workplace.

Careers of our recent graduates have included:

  • broadcasting
  • publishing
  • TV research
  • Journalism
  • advertising and marketing
  • exhibition managers
  • acting
  • playwriting
  • librarianship
  • specialist archive and collection work
  • communications officers for charities, political organisations, government
  • business, banking, accountancy, law and insurance
  • social work
  • local and central government administration and politics
  • primary or secondary school teachers
  • teachers of English as a foreign language
  • university lecturers
  • public relations
  • events management
  • human resource management
  • financial services

Some students may decide that another year (or more) of study may give them an edge when it comes to seeking out a career and may, for example, choose to undertake postgraduate study or teacher training.

Many of our graduates remain in touch with us; we invite some of them to return to give talks and provide advice at our School-organised Undergraduate Careers Days, while others act as mentors to current students.

Careers support and advice

We have a Careers and Employability Service on campus, with dedicated  School of English support. The service works with students individually and in groups to deliver an extensive range of services such as:

  • careers advice
  • CV reviews
  • drop-in sessions
  • graduate job fairs
  • help finding the latest vacancies listings.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 92.2% of undergraduates in the School of English who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £19,061 with the highest being £28,000.*

In 2016, 93.2% of undergraduates in the Department of Classics who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,205 with the highest being £38,000.* 

Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.


Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


This course includes one or more pieces of formative assessment. 

How to use the data

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


discovering new meaning
+44 (0)115 951 5559 Make an enquiry


School of English

Undergraduate students and staff talk about what it’s like to study English at Nottingham.


Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry